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Forza Horizon 3 Review: A Rip-Tire Triumph

Updated on June 28, 2018
Draco986 profile image

Draco loves gaming. He writes and records video game reviews. He has a passion for supporting and networking and always willing to learn

Beautiful Australia

The joy of racing through a fictional Australian landscape in your Lamborghini Aventador is unmatched by similar games.

Many open world racing games have attempted similar experience but the Horizon series is clearly the benchmark of excellence and few it seems could stand in the way of this behemoth. Xbox one exclusive and created by Turn 10 Studios.

Victorious Campaign

While previous Horizon games depicted the player as one of the racers in the festival, this time you are the festival director. Which means you have complete control from hiring and firing racers as well as customising races and Bucket List events. This entry in the series also allows you and up to three of your friends to adventure through the campaign together. Unfortunately you cannot drive over a kangaroo (as fun as that sounds).

As you complete tasks in each festival, you garner more fans through popularity and open up even more events in its already filled to the brim campaign. Each festival location is unique and has its own set of challenges. And ofcourse its trademark Showtime events where you are pitted against trains and hot air balloons as you race through predefine tracks to glory.

From the shimmering skyscarpers overlooking a golden beach of Surfers Paradise to the searing open terrain dessert of Outback. Fancy putting your Jaguar D-type to the speed demon test? Why not try the Goliath Circuit, the games longest driveway connecting 3 different plains.

Grow your festival

Win events to expand your festivals and gain fans

How about some off-track racing through Yarrah Valley’s lush rainforest opening into the edgy cliffs overlooking the blazing sun of Byron Bay? The variety is there and it is a joy to behold.

Different terrain types

Unlock sections of the map each with its own unique location and challenges

Talking about variety and choices, Horizon 3 has over 300 licensed cars from Chevrolet to Ferrari. Its sheer number of choices that Horizon is famous for does not disappoint.

Going through the campaign and doing various challenges such as racing, drifting, time trials etc will reward you with currency that you can use to unlock cars and customise. Each time you level you earn a skill point which you can invest and gain extra perks during your adventures such as XP boost and even rare cars. Moreover wheelspin marks its return to the series, where with each level you get to try your luck on a slot machine. You have a chance to win big bucks or rare cars. The game is rewarding not to say the least with each progression. Before you know it you are 5 levels up and £100k richer.

The car handling has always been about accessibility, adrenaline filled excitement. Horizon 3 is bold enough to lean alittle away from its Sim counterpart Motorsport.


Beyond its prowess when it comes to presentation, one of Horizon 3’s big bold approach is its flexibility. There are more customisations than ever. You can design your own paintjob or download designs from other fellow racers. Least of all we are no longer restricted to a default avatar. But rather we can choose from a selection. It also features a range of names the commentator can refer you by which is a neat touch. Every time you load up the game Anna, your personal GPS assistant, will welcome you in.

Flexible customisation

You can choose from different Avatars and customise every inch of your car

Music delight

Horizon 3’s radio station is sublime from the Epitaph records which contains hardrock, pop and punk to Horizon Bass which has a selection of dance and electro. Its airwaves are thick with shimmering electro pop, frantic drum’n’bass and rocky alt-rock. I have enjoyed some of the music so much that I ended up purchasing the tracks onto my iPod.

The integration of Groove music means you are no longer restricted to the in-game music either. It is a joy to play your own music in Horizon 3 and it is absolutely worth a try if you love driving to your own tunes.

But its flexibility of the racing events themselves that give us complete control over how it unfolds. Horizon 3 adjusts certain events automatically depending on what car you bought to start and also, rescript events completely. Named Horizon Blueprints you can select time of day, weather, the competition and even the name itself which is an absolute delight as every event can be raced many times in different scenarios prolonging is replayability. Better yet you can complete your friend’s Blueprints which will net you the same rewards as its official events.

Create your own races

Blueprints allow you to customise your own events and invite your friends to try it out


Horizon 3 is also the series first entry to offer HDR support and it looks incredible delivering dazzling effects across the island. Powering through Yarrah Valley’s pouring rain from cockpit view is breathtaking. HDR adds far greater contrast and its truly stunning when you are in a race that moves from night to sunrise. Furthermore, an increase in detail makes everything look crispier. The sun beams truly reach out into the room.

Each car is highly detailed with pinpoint accuracy. The car layers interact with environmental assets. Whether you are making a splash in Byron Bay or screaming through the desert of Outbreak, your car will envelope itself with relevant terrain types with great detail.

Detailed assets

The in-game engine helps the game's details sharper and vibrant

Beauty Spots

Players will be in awe when they discover the games many Beauty Spots, which lets you view some of Australia’s remarkable scenery, for the first time. You’ll be treated to a vista and bonus XP ofcourse.

Dazzling effects

Its environment and textures come to life


Horizon 3 has 2 major DLCs since launch. The snowstorm setting of Blizzard Mountain and the wacky hyperloops of Hot Wheels arena. Each comes with its own set of campaigns and different playstyles expanding its already massive world. And ofcourse its own set of unique cars.

Which expansion did you enjoy?

See results


Only 2 gripes I have for this game. The car crash sounds could be better compared to its delicious engine noises. At the moment it seems like someone dropped a brick onto a glass eveytime there is contact. And it’s the same with all the cars.

Secondly, I feel there are far too many loading screens which can take time. It can be frustrating at times especially going from event to even. It can have an impact on your momentum.


Horizon 3 is a joy to behold in open world racing and bigger and better than its predecessor. It looks fantastic, from its car selection to its size and variety of the map. Above all, Horizon 3 does not deter from the fact that tearing through the Goliath Circuit and jumping bonnet first in a field full of vibrant blueberries should be fun. It gives us all the tools in our hands to keep it that way.

Pros and Cons

Great soundtracks
Long load times
Addictive campaign
Better car crash sounds
Beautiful graphics
Deep customisation


5 stars for Forza Horizon 3

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